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Goal.com presents the 10 young players most heavily linked with switches to clubs on the peninsula ahead of the winter transfer window, which opens in just seven weeks

SPECIAL
By Simone Gambino

There is one thing that never goes out of fashion; an Italian habit that can throw up many a great surprise but may also conceal hidden dangers. Italian clubs have always favoured the Brazilian market when searching for young talent, and it has often thrown up astonishing results, not least in recent moves for Kaka, Alexandre Pato, Thiago Silva, Hernanes and Julio Cesar. But then, of course, there are also the examples of Kerlon, Felipe Mattioni and Edinho.

With the January transfer window coming rapidly into view, AC Milan, Inter and Juventus head the queue of Serie A outfits with their sights set firmly on Brazil once more. Many names have been mentioned in the newspapers, from much-vaunted superstars of the future to those who are near-unknowns to an Italian audience.

Below we present the 10 most talked-about talents in the Brazilian market who have become alleged objectives of Italian clubs ahead of the winter transfer market.



CASEMIRO
Club
Sao Paulo
He is the dream signing for the occupants of Casa Milan, and the player who it is believed could be the lynchpin of the Rossoneri's engine room for the next decade. A flexible midfielder, he is a rock but with educated feet, and is effective in attack and defence. Sao Paulo will want a lot for him, though, and competition is fierce.
Position Midfielder
Age 19
Approx. price
€18m
Similar to...
Felipe Melo



DEDE
Club
Vasco da Gama
The nicknames he has been given by the Vasco fans tell a story in themselves. To them, Dede is 'The Myth' or 'Dedeckenbauer'. Physically imposing at 1.93m, he has great fundamentals and always stands tall. Similar to Roma's Juan, except that in comparison he is faster and more powerful. Juventus are big fans.
Position Defender
Age
23
Approx. price €4m
Similar to... Juan




ELKESON
Club
Botafogo
He is probably one of the least well-known to the general public, but for some time in Brazil people have been backing the qualities of this trequartista, who has already scored eight goals in the league. Physically he looks ready for Italy, while technically there is no question. He's a good dribbler, has great vision and is excellent from set-pieces.
Position Trequartista
Age 22
Approx. price €7m
Similar to... Sneijder



GABRIEL SILVA
Club
Palmeiras
The next big hope of Udinese is said to be full-back Gabriel Silva, who has long been linked with the Friulani. He was a starter in Brazil's Under-20 World Cup-winning side and is one of the jewels of Palmeiras. He is a full-back in the Brazilian mould, with defensive resilience and powerful presence in attack.
Position Left-back
Age
20
Approx. price €4m
Similar to... Clichy


JUAN
Club
Internacional
Napoli and Inter are the sides most interested in the defender who is equally as capable in the centre of the back line or on the left. Physically big, tactically intelligent and with a certain dynamism, he doesn't have the technique of David Luiz, but has greater flexibility.
Position Defender
Age 20
Approx. price €4m
Similar to... David Luiz



LEANDRO DAMIAO
Club
Internacional
The Selecao centre-forward is one of the most coveted players in South America. Milan, Roma, Juventus, Liverpool, Tottenham and Shakhtar are among the clubs to have shown an interest in him. Damiao is a 'mobile tower', with great mobility despite his imposing figure. His price will be that of a top player: at least €20 million.
Position Attacker
Age 22
Approx. price €20m
Similar to... Gomez




LUCAS
Club
Sao Paulo
After Neymar, the Sao Paulo fantasista is currently the best there is in Brazil. A pure talent, he is destined to become a leading light in Europe. His physique and movement has echoes of Robinho, although he plays from a slightly more withdrawn position. Inter are following him, though it may be difficult to get him to move to Italy.
Position Trequartista
Age 19
Approx. price €30m
Similar to... Robinho





OSCAR
Club
Internacional
Oscar's name in circled in red in Ariedo Braida's little black book after the Milan director was entranced by the talent of the versatile midfielder. Showing a mix of Kaka and Iniesta, he can play either as a trequartista or in the centre, and is particularly reminiscent of the ex-Milan man when the ball is at his feet. Barcelona also hold a candle for him.
Position Trequartista
Age 19
Approx. price €15m
Similar to... Kaka


PAULINHO
Club
Corinthians
A defensive midfielder who also has a knack for goals, with seven so far in the league, his best qualities are his intensity and dynamism. Disciplined on the ball and determined in the tackle, Paulinho has been followed in recent months by Milan, Roma and Fiorentina.
Position Midfielder
Age 23
Approx. price €5m
Similar to... Ramires



RHODOLFO
Club
San Paolo
Followed by Juventus, the Sao Paulo centre-back is one of the players most ready to make the jump to the peninsula. Physically imposing, he reminds many observers of Lucio due to his ability to get on top of his attacking adversary. He was very close to joining Bari last year, and was also linked to Genoa.
Position Defender
Age 25
Approx. price €8m
Similar to... Lucio

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